Posts Tagged ‘honesty’

Truth Be Told, Your Story Must Reflect Your Culture

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

True StoryDoes your corporate story reflect your company’s values–and your leaders’ behavior? Or are prospective employees told one story, only to see a totally different one enacted after they’ve been onboarded?

With the youngest generations in the workforce expecting to move up quickly, and moving on much more often than previous generations would even consider, companies need more than ever to ensure that the story of their culture is true. If they don’t, they’ll find themselves struggling to compete not only in recruiting the best and brightest, but also in retaining them. As a result, they’ll incur increasingly higher costs due to employee turnover and continuous recruitment.

In a recent worldwide survey, Randstad found that the trait people want most in an employer is honesty (78%). They want to know that the story they’re told is true! The survey of 11,000 prospective employees also found that 71% value reliability and 62% look for financial security.

How does your corporate culture stack up with those traits? Does your core story ring true?

If there’s a disconnect in your stated values and the behavior employees observe, it may be because not everyone is clear on how to enact the values. To ensure alignment of values, mission and purpose with goals, department by department and employee by employee, you need clear, consistent communication. You need a collection of stories that exemplify the desired behavior and show employees how to succeed in the organization.

That’s where Corporate Storytelling comes in. If you’d like to explore how the Storytelling system will help your organization  reflect its true values clearly and consistently, let’s talk!



WAMU Story Is Retrospective on Stated Values

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

As an information junkie and also a neatnik, I’m continuously waging a battle with the rogue waves of paper that inundate my office. I’m often rewarded, though, with surprising–and sometimes sobering–discoveries.

While recently cleaning out my files, I ran across a set of my notes from  a 2003 business event in Seattle where WAMU CEO Kerry Killinger was the featured speaker. In an interesting convergence of events, an article in the Seattle Times a few days later reported the financial settlement related to the demise of WAMU was, at last, final. A highly regarded institution for more than 100 years that represented Northwest reserve, stability and integrity and made us proud was no more, and it’s officially in the history books as the largest bank failure in the U.S.

My notes from just nine years ago reminded of the values Killinger was espousing even as he was leading the iconic institution to destruction. As he told us at the business event, the core values of WAMU were 1) honesty and integrity at all levels, 2) respect for employees and customers, 3) teamwork, 4) innovation, and 5) excellence. As both a customer and a stockholder, I wish that had been as true during the housing bubble as it had been for decades before. But instead of excellent performance based on integrity, honesty and respect for others, WAMU set out to write as many mortgages as possible, regardless of the viability of the deal.

It’s a sad reminder that adopting and espousing impressive core values comprises only the first step of good management. Just as importantly, the leaders of an organization need to demonstrate their commitment to their value through their actions.